Wednesday, October 7, 2015
We are looking forward to the upcoming Parents' Weekend. It will be a fun few days as we also welcome our alumni back for Reunion. Activities on campus for parents will include meetings with classroom teachers, athletic contests, and a performing arts showcase. A reminder that registration throughout the weekend will be in the lobby of Brewster Hall. You should have received schedules by email yesterday.
The first month of the academic year has gone beautifully. It has been highlighted by the opening of an expanded Brewster Hall and new Stiles Walk. These spaces have helped us achieve several strategic goals that include solidifying our formal sit-down lunch four days per week and better connecting our academic and residential quadrangles. I love seeing how proud our students, faculty, and parents are of the new facilities. They symbolize Suffield's positive trajectory as a broad outpouring of support from parents and alumni made them possible.
We have settled into our intense routine of campus life. The robust academic program has 227 class sections this year and the average class size is between 10 and 11 students. The curriculum has both core departmental offerings and more than 40 elective classes. These include new courses in history and the arts along with two additional college level math classes and science electives in molecular biology, primate disease ecology, biomedical ethics, and advanced psychology.
Our fall athletic teams are off to excellent starts. We have seen skilled play and several teams look to be among the strongest in their leagues. Returning student-athletes have been joined by talented newcomers that have quickly embraced the spirit of Suffield. I am pleased to notify you that recent parent gifts have made it possible for us to install lights on the turf field. The project will be completed later this month and will enable teams of both genders to have periodic games at night. The lights will also offer new opportunities for student activities.
Our senior class has done a nice job stepping into new roles of leadership. They have joined our faculty and staff in welcoming 144 new students and a student body from more parts of the world (19 states and the 35 countries) than ever before. Demand for admission to Suffield continues to be strong, as we will host more than 300 prospective families for campus tours before Thanksgiving.
At last weekend's fall Board meetings our trustees were joined by our 15 tour guide leaders and 10 students new to Suffield. The tour guide leaders spoke about welcoming families to campus and how recent physical plant projects impact admission tours. Our new students recounted their school searches last year and their adjustment during the past month. Several consistent themes arose including our strong community spirit, the sense of momentum that accompanies the recent construction, Suffield's encouraging, nurturing atmosphere, and the deep investment of our faculty in each student.
Again, it will be fun having you on campus this weekend, and it will be a great chance for you to see Suffield in its full autumn splendor. Hillary and I send our best wishes to everyone and look forward to seeing you.